Top Ten November Blooms.

Here we are deep in gloomy November and seasonal blooms are getting ever scarcer. Every month, I include blooms from the whole month, so the ones I feature might be past their best and this is the case for some of the chrysanthemums.  Some of these starry stars of  autumn make their appearance in September, others are at their best in October and I featured some of them last month. Here are some lovely November chrysanthemums. The first is a very vigorous, tall -growing one which was found growing in a Suffolk garden by a member of the Suffolk Plant Heritage and it is named ‘Mavis Smith’ after her.  I love it for its unusual quill-shaped flowers, it looks like a pink shuttlecock.

Chrysanthemum ‘Mavis Smith’

I have another chrysanthemum which I suppose was discovered in Suffolk but I don’t know anything about its history. I see it a lot in gardens round here so perhaps it has been around for a long time. It is called Chrysanthemum ‘Suffolk Pink’, it is  very strong growing and a lovely bright shade of pink.

Chrysanthemum ‘Suffolk Pink’

I have a new one this year which is also rare and on the Plant Heritage Red List.  It is new to me, but in fact it is quite an old one and an adorable short-growing little pompom in bright yellow. It is called ‘Jante Wells’.

Chrysanthemum ‘Jante Wells’

Chrysanthemum ”Edelweiss’ is supposed to be white but it is actually more a parchment shade. It is also quite rare. It is semi-double and clearly needs staking as it is collapsing onto the lawn here.

Chrysanthemum ‘Edelweiss’

I have a lovely orange one called Chrysanthemum ‘Cottage Apricot’.

Chrysanthemum ‘Cottage Apricot’

All these chrysanthemums are reliable November bloomers but after a few frosts and deluges they are looking a bit battered. But  my favourite chrysanthemum is a late November bloomer and goes on quite unperturbed by whatever the weather throws at it. It is an old variety called ‘Chelsea Physic Garden’. It is double and a bronzey, burnt orange shade and the reverse of the petals are gold.

Chrysanthemum ‘Chelsea Physic Garden’

After all the rain and frost ‘Chelsea Physic Garden’ is still looking fabulous. I took the next photo in the rain today.

Chrysanthemum ‘Chelsea Physic Garden’

If your garden is looking dreary in autumn then chrysanthemums give lovely spots of colour and they are long lasting in flower arrangements.

People who follow my post will know that I am crazy about nerines. The last one to bloom in the greenhouse is Nerine undulata. The flowers are smaller than those of my other nerines but they appear in profusion and they are quite charming . The petals of the pale pink flowers are crinkled and frilly. Clive Boyce  who used to be the President of The Alpine Society and has many unusual and rare plants gave it to me more than twenty years ago and it has lived in a pot ever since.  He assured me that it was hardy and could live outside but the flowers are so late that I think November frosts would kill them. It has more than forty blooms and although nerines bloom best when they are pot bound I think this potful is more than ready to be split and repotted.

Nerine undulata.

Sternbergia lutea  is sometimes known as the Autumn Daffodil but I can’t think why it looks more like a crocus than a daffodil. In fact it is neither, it belongs to the  Amaryllidoideae family. I love Reginald Farrer’s description of it ‘gleaming goblets sitting close to the ground through the saddest hours of weeping autumn‘. It needs a spot where it can soak up the sun to do well. I have a clump in semi-shade which I keep forgetting to move. Each year it has masses of bright green leaves but doesn’t bloom. The one in the photo is in full sun and never lets me down.

Sternbergia lutea

Of course there are plenty of autumn blooming crocuses, I don’t know why I don’t have lots more and drifts of all different ones. Next year I will certainly get some more.  They are readily available.  They are nice in pots in the greenhouse too. The one I have is  Crocus specicosus ‘Conqueror’ I took the photo today and it is very gloomy so the blooms aren’t open. They are a lovely colour.

Crocus speciosus ‘Conqueror’

I showed my autumn -blooming snowdrop, Galanthus reginae-olgae last month but this month another clump is looking even better with loads of blooms. I appreciate this snowdrop particularly because my other autumn flowering ones, Galanthus ‘Barnes’ and G.’Remember, Remember’ seem to have disappeared. Reginae-olgae is very dependable and clumps up beautifully. It does appreciate a bit of bonemeal now and again and enough water.

Galanthus reginae-olgae

Mahonia x media ‘Charity’  and ‘Winter Sun’ are indistinguishable to me. I have both, they were here when I arrived and the previous owner clearly liked mahonias because they are all over the place. I know a lot of people don’t like them because they are popular in municipal planting, but I like the structure of their spiky foliage. They have to be pruned each year to stop them getting leggy and producing their racemes of yellow flowers over your head. I appreciate them particularly because they bloom in November when flowering shrubs are scarce.

Mahonia x media ‘Winter Sun’

I do try to feature seasonal blooms each month but in November  there are slim pickings so I have to resort to flowers which are looking wonderful even though they are out of season. I have a lovely anemone which should be in bloom in summer but it is still looking stunning. It is called Anemone x hybrida ‘Dreaming Swan’. I have an anemone called ‘Wild Swan’ which isn’t nearly as good as this and anyway it finished blooming months ago. The blooms of this one are  semi-double and white tinged with violet.

Anemone x hybrida ‘Dreaming Swan’

The flowers of my hydrangeas have turned to lovely antique shades now but I have one which is as fresh as the summer time blooms. It is ‘Ayesha’ grown from a cutting from my old garden. Hydrangeas are very easy from cuttings. This is one of my favourites with its  heads of little incurved flowers.

Hydrangea ‘Ayesha’

I have a little shrub which somebody gave me and it is something that I have never grown before. The label says Rhaphiolepsis ‘Crimson’. I have looked it up and Rhaphiolepsis  ‘Coates Crimson’ is supposed to bloom in spring and summer so I am confused. Is this something different or does it bloom again in autumn? Anyway it is blooming happily in the greenhouse as I am not quite sure whether or not it is hardy, perhaps somebody could enlighten me.


I have one more to go and I am puzzled as to what to write about, after all I want to leave some blooms which have started blooming now for December. I am going to have to finish with another summer straggler. It is a very confused  Phygelius capensis ‘African Queen’. It should be blooming in August but shush, don’t say anything, it is a pleasure to have it now.

Phygelius capensis ‘African Queen’

So there we have it, I just managed ten. If you have any November blooms to share I would love to see them, it doesn’t have to be ten, even one would be lovely during these ever darkening days of November.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Top Ten November Blooms.

  1. Heyjude says:

    Those Chrysanthemums are gorgeous! I suspect the S&S or the earwigs would attack them in my garden 😦

  2. snowbird says:

    What a pleasure it is to see all your delightful blooms, especially on a grey, wet day here! I especially love your snowdrops and that wonderful “pink shuttlecock”. xxx

  3. pbmgarden says:

    Each item you’ve highlighted is magical. Hydrangea ‘Ayesha’ catches at my heartstrings.

  4. Kris P says:

    Once again, I find myself envious of your chrysanthemums. I love that Nerine too. Rhaphiolepsis indica is a common foundation plant here but I’m not familiar with yours, which appears to be a hybrid variety. Ours bloom just in spring – my neighbor has large swaths of them and they’re spectacular in bloom. The only flower we have in common at the moment is that of Mahonia ‘Charity’. My garden is light on blooms in general since I tore out the warm-season flowers in my cutting garden to make way for plants suitable to our cool-season. The hot, dry winds in October and early November took out most of the seasonal blooms in my larger garden ahead of schedule, except for my tough-as-nails Grevilleas.

    • Chloris says:

      Chrysanthemums are the mainstay of my autum garden. They are long lasting in a vase too. The rhapiolepsis has me baffled as its label just says ‘crimson’. I thought they bloomed in spring too. I have no idea whether they are hardy. I think your idea of ‘light on blooms’ is a bit different than ours. November is a miserable, soggy month here with just a few pathetic hangers on.

  5. Well, the only November flowers here are from the Cactus that are inside for the winter. I grew a lot of Chrysanthemums in the early 1980’s that were really nice. The bad thing was that they flowered great then would get zapped by a hard “F”. I used to drape sheets over them at night to protect them from the inevitable.

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, I’ve seen your fabulous cactus collection. I too have been known to rush out on a frosty night with a sheet or tablecloth to cover up some treasure. But I don’t need to cover up chrysanthemums, they are quite hardy here.

  6. karenjw5 says:

    Beautiful photos! Some chrysanthemums have a lovely perfume, warm and autumny, lovely when you bring a bunch indoors. Chelsea Physic Garden is a real favourite.

  7. Cathy says:

    Those colours certainly do cheer up gloomy November days. Thanks for sharing them with us! 🙂

  8. Chloris, your November blooms are a ray of sunshine on what has been a very dull and dreary lights on at 3.00pm November day. The chrysanthemums look so vibrant and would brighten up any border at this time of year. I hope that they are spared from frosts for a while longer.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Anna. The chrysanthemums are lovely, some varieties bloom in September, some in October and others take us in to November, so you get a nice long season. Chelsea Physic garden is still blooming and stands up to the frost very well.

  9. Pingback: November Blooms: Stray Apologies | Rambling in the Garden

  10. Cathy says:

    Oh look at all your lovely chrysanths, Chloris! I haven’t included the two hardy ones of mine which are still in bloom as they are so bedraggled and suddenly past it, so it is a joy to see yours, especially those lovely rare varieties. I added two or three others this year but they are not really established yet, but hopefully next year. Your smaller nerine is a delight too, and clearly very happy. Your Raphiolepsis thingy looks intriguing, something I have not come across before, oh and I too have one of the other anemones in the swan family in bud, a new acquisition amongst many others for my revamped woodland edge border. My 10ish are at
    Thanks for hosting, as always

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your November blooms Cathy. My chyrsanths are now looking bedraggled too but ‘Chelsea Physic Garden’ is still looking great. I love these small flowered chrysanthemums for the autumn garden.These new swan anemones are fabulous.

  11. Eliza Waters says:

    Your garden is certainly a marvel, Liz. There is always something amazing in bloom!

  12. alison41 says:

    Loved your chrysanthemums. Pics of crocus were new to me – to best of my knowledge they don’t grow here (South Africa). Lovely pics.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Alison. Next year I shall have a bigger range of autumn crocus, they come in lovely shades of lilac. They are welcome here where there is not a great deal of November colour.

  13. Your confused Phygelia has rather oddly shaped flowers, but it is appealing. I really like the Sternbergia, it looks sort of like a cross between a daffodil and a daylily.

  14. So much bright colour for November. Incredible. You have such interesting plants, all year round it seems. Wonderful

  15. Amazing! I even like some of your chrysanths … Chelsea Physic Garden looks particularly attractive.

  16. I have shown your N. undulata to my sluggard, hopefully it will inspire it. All lovely 🙂

  17. tonytomeo says:

    How nice that you got the anemone in there. It seems that those who can grow it do not appreciate as much as those of us who do not do so well with it. I don’t now why it is so unreliable here. I know it ‘can’ do well here. It just rarely does. The happiest colonies are where I would not expect to find them, in landscapes where they get neglected.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s